SPES recognizes outstanding graduate students
Outstanding M.S. student
Kumar is currently working on evaluating different herbicides for termination of cover crops and control of volunteer mustard in corn. He is also studying the influence of cover crops on insect-pest infestations in agronomic crops. From his thesis research, Kumar has published one review article, has one original research article that was recently accepted, and another currently in review. Kumar has given eight oral and poster presentations and received second place awards for three of his posters. He received a first place prize in herbicide symptomology at the Northeast Weed Science Society student weed contest. Kumar is advised by Assistant Professor Vijay Singh at the Eastern Shore Agricultural Research and Extension Center.
Outstanding Ph.D. student, Applied Research
Pokhrel is evaluating how conservation management systems, such as cover crops and no-till, influence nitrogen management. From her dissertation research, she has published two peer-reviewed Extension publications. Since she joined Professor Rory Maguire’s program, Pokhrel has given 10 poster and oral presentations, many of which reflect her research in applied situations, including conducting nutrient management training for the Virginia certification exam, presenting her research to the Virginia Innovative Farmers Roundtable, the Virginia Soil Health Coalition, and the Master Gardener College.
Outstanding Ph.D. student, Basic Research
Sharma is working on improving pathogen identification and characterization using long-read sequencing methods. Sharma has contributed to four peer-reviewed research articles as co-author, published one article as one of three equally contributing first authors, and another article as the sole first author. While at Virginia Tech, Sharma has received three first-place awards for her oral and poster presentations at the Potomac Division Meeting of the American Phytopathological Society, SPES Research Symposium, and the Virginia Tech Graduate Student Association Research Symposium. Sharma is advised by Professor Boris Vinatzer.